Tuesday, March 30, 2010



Piedad Cordoba Leads Hostage Liberation in Colombia

By Eva Golinger
Correo del Orinoco International

The Colombian Senator, herself and her daughter once hostages of right-wing paramilitary forces, has been leading peace efforts in the country for years. Despite sabotage by the Colombian government, Cordoba and her group, Colombians For Peace, were able to free two more hostages this week. The world kept up with the emotional developments via Twitter.

“They closed the helicopter doors, it’s still really loud, Colombia, give peace a chance!”, read one of Piedad Cordoba’s tweets early Sunday (@piedadcordoba), as she boarded the helicopter that just hours later, brought Josue Calvo home. The Colombian Senator has been leading peace efforts for several years in her country, which has been plagued with a 60-year old civil war between right and left forces.

Colombia erupted in national violence after Jorge Gaitan’s assassination in 1948, which many believe was attributed to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Gaitan was a charismatic leader, a leftist and a revolutionary, who was set to win the presidential elections before his assassination, during a time when Washington was overly eager to stop the spread of communism in the region. Ten years of non-stop violence followed in Colombia, later transforming into a civil war that has never ceased.

Though the armed leftist groups are classified as “terrorist” by Washington and the current Colombian government, the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN), are still the remnants of the organizations that struggled against the imposition of the right-wing elite that has ruled the country since Gaitan’s death. Paramilitary groups - linked to the current Uribe government - were formed to combat the FARC and the ELN, and subsequently became involved in Colombia’s mass drug trade.

As the years and decades passed, kidnappings became a major tactic used by both sides to impose a state of fear and terror over civilian populations, and extort the other side for money and political and territorial gains.

Piedad Cordoba, Colombian Senator since 1994 and a controversial afro-Colombian and feminist figure, was kidnapped in 1999 by paramilitary forces led by Carlos Castano. She was held for several weeks and later forced into exile in Canada for over a year. Upon returning to Colombia, in 2002, she ran for Senate again and was elected with a landslide victory. Her daughter was subsequently kidnapped and held for several years by paramilitary forces, and two assassination attempts were made against Cordoba, after her return.

Nevertheless, Cordoba has been fighting ever since for peace in Colombia, and currently heads the organization Colombians For Peace. In August 2007, President Alvaro Uribe agreed to appoint Cordoba as a mediator in the humanitarian exchange between the FARC and the government, which continues to hold approximately 500 members of the leftist guerrilla group.

Piedad Cordoba requested the help of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela to mediate in the hostage release in late 2007. But in November 2007, President Uribe unilaterally suspended Chavez’s role in the mediation efforts and threatened to end the entire negotiation process. Appeals were made by family members of the hostages, along with Cordoba herself, to allow Chavez to continue. In early 2008, President Chavez and Senator Cordoba achieved the first liberations of two hostages held by the FARC for over six years, Clara Rojas and Consuelo Gonzalez.

Since then, Cordoba has continued her efforts for peace and hostage release in Colombia.

On Sunday, the FARC unilaterally freed Josue Daniel Calvo, the first of two Colombian military officers that the group had promised to release as a gesture of peace. The liberation of the military officer took place in a jungle region of southeastern Colombia. A humanitarian mission led by Piedad Cordoba picked Calvo up in a helicopter and flew him to Villavicencio, where his father and sister were anxiously awaiting his arrival. The government of Brazil provided the helicopters for his rescue.

Calvo, dressed in a light blue shirt and sweatpants, walked on his own from the helicopter, despite a knee injury obtained during his year of captivity. More than 100 people belonging to Colombians For Peace, dressed in white shirts and holding white carnations, were waiting for Calvo, to welcome him home. “Humanitarian agreement, now”, they yelled, the majority of whom were family members of hostages or ex FARC prisoners.

Despite an agreement with the Colombian government to cease military operations in the region in order to allow for the hostage liberation, Cordoba denounced that the guerrilla group had detected army flyovers over the area designated as a no-fly zone. The Uribe government has sabotaged past efforts to free hostages held by the FARC by flooding the area with Colombian military presence, and hence preventing the liberations.

“We are very pleased. There is no possibility that the hostage liberations will be paralized despite everything the Colombian government is doing to sabotage them. Pablo Emilio Moncayo should be released this Tuesday”, affirmed Cordoba on Sunday afternoon. By the time of this printing, Moncayo will hopefully have been released.

Moncayo has been held by the FARC for more than 12 years. His father, Gustavo Moncayo, has led an effort for peace in Colombia during the past few years and, as part of his actions, marched from Bogota to Caracas two years ago. He has appealed to governments and social movements around the world to aid in peacemaking in Colombia. The release of his son Pablo, will be a huge achievement for this activist who has suffered the loss of his child during 12 years.

Cordoba used Twitter to inform followers around the world of the status of Calvo’s liberation. “For two years, this has been a lot of work for Colombians For Peace. Tomorrow at 7am we depart to achieve our result. We hope for peace”, she wrote on Saturday, after informing readers of her meetings with church and government representatives. “I have arrived to Villavicencio and am meeting with the High Commissioner for Peace and the Church to coordinate the operations”, also posting photographs of meetings and key events.

“In just minutes we will be landing with good news for peace in Colombia. Peace is possible. Josue Calvo is free!”, she wrote on Sunday afternoon from the helicopter where she flew together with the newly freed hostage. During the humanitarian mission, a “little girl with big black eyes” gave her a bird. “It’s quiet and scared”, tweeted Cordoba, later adding, “I will free the bird in Buenaventura when the humanitarian mission ends”.

The bird was released late Sunday, after Calvo was safe with his family and Cordoba was gearing up for Tuesday’s operation to rescue Pablo Moncayo after more than a decade of imprisonment.


Direct from Venezuela/Directo desde Venezuela

Our Correo del Orinoco International - English Edition is out early this week because of Venezuela's celebrations of Easter and Holy Week (it's also Passover!). So here is this week's edition, with special stories on President Chavez's recent visit to Ecuador, and the creation of several new joint ventures in the areas of energy, fishing and chocolate (yum!); Piedad Cordoba's amazing work to achieve hostage release in Colombia; US use of Haiti as a training camp for Afghanistan; our marvelous Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Temir Porras, on why we should keep hope alive; US health care reform; Venezuela's incredible health care program, Barrio Adentro; and Noam Chomsky on US Presidents.

Feel free to send comments, submissions and letters to us at [email protected] And check out all our past editions online at: www.correodelorinoco.gob.ve (we hope to have our English site up and running soon).

Revolutionary Regards,
Eva Golinger
Correo del Orinoco International
English Edition

Friday, March 26, 2010



By Eva Golinger
Correo del Orinoco International

Despite critics’ exaggerated outcries and accusations in the international media alleging Internet censorship, President Chavez announced a new government-sponsored program to promote Internet usage and cyber communication throughout Venezuela.

Venezuela has made headlines recently in international media for alleged threats to freedom of expression, this time directed at the Internet. But as in the past, many of these accusations against the Chavez administration that spread contagiously throughout mass media outlets and are tweeted and blogged in cyberspace at the speed of light, are just not true.

Press agencies and major world newspapers, such as the New York Times, El País and The Guardian, were quick to react to statements made by President Hugo Chavez two weeks ago regarding a website that had maliciously reported the murders of two prominent government figures. “Venezuela’s Chavez calls for internet controls”, headlined a Reuters release, which went on to claim that “Chavez is angry with Venezuelan political opinion and gossip website NoticieroDigital, which he said had falsely written that Diosdado Cabello, a senior minister and close aide, had been assassinated”.

By referring to Chavez’s reaction to the website’s dangerous and false reporting as a personal issue, i.e. “Chavez is angry”, Reuters downplayed and ridiculed very serious crimes: inciting violence and knowingly and maliciously reporting false information to further criminal acts. Additionally, contrary to Reuters’ brushing aside the content of the posts as something that President Chavez “said”, and therefore questioning the veracity of the charge, the Venezuelan website NoticieroDigital actually had posted false reports on Diosdado Cabello’s assassination by armed attackers, alongside another post claiming that pro-Chavez television host Mario Silva had been “gunned down” the following day. Both stories remained on the website for at least two days, and were only taken down after government supporters publicly denounced the website for the malicious posts.

President Chavez did state that “the Internet cannot be something open where anything is said and done”, a notion shared by governments and societies around the world. In the United States, controls on Internet content are frequent. Content such as pornography is strictly regulated, and criminal acts or incitement to commit such acts is outright prohibited, even on blogs, chats and informal, anonymous forums. In early 2009, Steven Joseph Cristopher, a 42 year-old resident of Wisconsin, was arrested by the US Secret Service for threatening to assassinate President Obama in a chat forum on a website about UFOs and aliens. Christopher was charged with violating a US law that prohibits threatening to kill a president or president-elect of the United States, carrying a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 USD fine.

In late December 2009, President Obama named Howard Schmidt, a former White House security advisor to George W. Bush, as Cybersecurity Chief, to oversee Washington’s Internet policies and regulations, as well as aid in the protection of US cyber assets. The US Congress has also debated a law that would give the US President emergency control over the Internet and permit a seizure of “private-sector networks” during a so-called cybersecurity emergency.

That type of regulation goes well beyond what is presently being discussed in Venezuela. At most, the Venezuelan government - legislative and executive branches alike - are debating extending current penal codes to cyberspace. Rumors spread internationally, probably via twitter, which is used by more than 160,000 Venezuelan residents, that Venezuela’s National Assembly was debating a law to regulate Internet content. But members of the Venezuelan legislature were quick to deny those rumors and clarify that current laws should merely be applied to crimes committed over the Internet, as is common in most countries.

Germany has also been considering creating a government agency to specifically regulate and create policy regarding cyberspace, one of the most rapidly growing industries and business fields around the world.

Dispelling critics and so-called international defenders of freedom of expression who claimed President Chavez was shutting down Venezuelans’ access to Internet, the Venezuelan head of state declared on television Sunday, “A false rumor is spreading, and it’s wrong, saying that we are going to limit Internet access, that we are going to control it. It’s false. We have a central strategy and it’s none other than transferring power to the people, and the first and most important power is knowledge”.

In that context, President Chavez inaugurated twenty-four new Infocenters last Sunday during his program, Alo Presidente, bringing the total to 668 nationwide. He also approved more than $10 million USD for the creation of 200 more of these community-based free cybercenters to be built during 2010. Infocenters are a project of the Ministry of Science and Technology, and are government-sponsored and funded computer centers built in communities throughout the nation that provide free Internet and technological access and services to all Venezuelans. Twenty-seven mobile Infocenters were also launched this week, which will travel across the nation to remote areas in the Amazon, Andean and rural regions, guaranteeing free Internet services and computer training to citizens with little or no access to technology.

At present, the Infocenters have the capacity to provide Internet and computer services to more than 2.5 million permanent users and up to 10 million visitors annually. The government’s goal is to transfer the operations and administration of the Infocenters to organized community groups, such as Community Councils, that can collectively determine the use and technological needs of their residents, neighborhoods and regions. “The transfer of the management and administration of the Infocenters and technological spaces built by the Revolution will permit organized communities to collectively make decisions regarding the use of these spaces. Our strategic objective is to advance the technological growth and communications access to aid in the creation of the Communal State”, explained President Chavez.

“Technology will be assumed as a form of communication of the People’s Power, to capacitate and articulate communities”, added Chavez. “The people should have the responsibility to maintain and operate the Infocenters and to conserve their equipment, as well as guarantee the functioning of each center” said the Venezuelan President, emphasizing that the Internet is a “tool of the Revolution” and should aid in the creation and expansion of Venezuela’s alternative press.

“Each community can create a network and we can communicate with one another to inform each other of developments”, exclaimed Chavez, also announcing the creation of his own blog. “I am starting my own battleground in the Internet with a blog. It’s going to be full of different information, and we will be ready for the bombardment of responses we will surely receive. Even from the enemy, they will attack me with fire and I will respond. Battle is battle, assault is assault”, he warned.

President Chavez also announced that in Venezuela, only 273,537 Internet subscribers existed in the year 2000. But by the first trimester of 2009, more than 1,585,497 Internet subscribers were registered, an increase of 600%. “And the number of Internet users in 2000 was only 820,000 in Venezuela. Nine years later, that number has risen to 7,552,570 users, an increase of more than 900%”, indicated President Chavez.

In the year 2000, only 3.4% of the Venezuelan population had access to Internet, while statistics show that by the end of 2009, 30% of Venezuelans had Internet access, a huge increase in large part made possible by government programs. The Infocenter project not only provides computers and Internet access to communities nationwide, but also trains users in computer literacy. Brigades of computer and Internet educators, sponsored by the Science and Technology Ministry, have trained thousands of Venezuelans in the basics of computer usage, ranging from simply how to use a computer to advanced Internet searches and blogging.

While the Venezuelan state has been empowering its own citizens to enter the world of cyberspace in a conscienciouss and responsible way, another government has been training and funding a select group of Venezuelans to destabilize their nation and promote regime change using the Internet as a weapon.

During the last few years, more than $7 million USD have been channeled from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to anti-Chavez youth and student groups in Venezuela to “strengthen new media tools that can improve access to information and allow open and productive debate on the Internet”. Since 2002, USAID has funded hundreds of opposition organizations and political parties in Venezuela with over $50 million USD in an ongoing effort to promote the overthrow of the Chavez administration.

The millions invested in Internet “strengthening” for opposition youth groups have accounted for the proliferation of anti-Chavez websites, blogs and propaganda online, aiding in the mass media offensive against the Venezuelan government. New media tools such as Twitter and Facebook are also overridden with anti-Chavez users. And it’s no surprise. In October 2009, the US State Department sponsored the 2nd Annual Summit of the Alliance of Youth Movements (AYM) in Mexico City, bringing together the founders and representatives of new media companies, such as Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Myspace, Google, Meetup and others, along with a selection of handpicked student and youth leaders from around the world. Representatives from US government agencies, including the State Department, USAID, Freedom House, International Republican Institute (IRI), National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Cato Institute, Cuba Development Initiative, and others, were also present at the event, which included a welcome speech from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Forty-three young political activists funded by the State Department were brought to the AYM Summit from nations such as Sri Lanka, Colombia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Lebannon, Turkey, Moldovia, Malaysia, Mexico, Ecuador and Venezuela. The Venezuelan attendees were Yon Goicochea, current leader of the ultra-conservative Primero Justicia party, and winner of Cato Institute’s Milton Friedman Award for promoting neoliberal politics; Geraldine Alvarez, member of Goichochea’s foundation Futuro Presente, created with funding from US agencies; and Rafael Delgado, another former student leader associated with the opposition.

The goal of the State Department event was to capacitate selected youth with the knowledge, technology and funding to promote “Twitter Revolutions” in their countries, citing the examples of Iran, Moldovia and the anti-FARC and anti-Chavez marches promoted in Colombia via Facebook and Twitter.

Nevertheless, pro-Chavez groups and activists in Venezuela are now flooding those same new media technologies used by Washington to promote the imperial agenda. Facebook and Twitter accounts have recently been opened by prominent figures connected to the Bolivarian Revolution, and new blogs, websites and email lists are growing fast, in an attempt to gain ground in the information battlefield in cyberspace.

While the Internet is still dominated by those forces working to destabilize and discredit the Chavez administration and the Bolivarian Revolution, chavistas are catching up fast. The hundreds of new Infocenters throughout the nation, guaranteeing free access to all Venezuelans, will enable millions to share their stories and voices - previously ignored and invisible - with the international community. A blog written by President Hugo Chavez himself will surely serve as major ammunition for the Bolivarian Revolution and counteract many of the lies and myths spread about him and his government around the world.



Read the Correo del Orinoco International in English from the week of March 19, 2010.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

PERMANENT AGGRESSION: War on the horizon in Latin America

The Empire will stop at nothing to find mechanisms and techniques to achieve its final objective, and we cannot disregard the possibility of a military conflict in the near future. If the US places Venezuela on the “terrorist list” this year, we could be on the verge of a regional war.

Latin America has suffered constant aggressions executed by Washington during the past two hundred years. Strategies and tactics of covert and overt warfare have been applied against different nations in the region, ranging from coup d’etats, assassinations, disappearances, torture, brutal dictatorships, atrocities, political persecution, economic sabotage, psychological operations, media warfare, biological warfare, subversion, counterinsurgency, paramiliary infiltration, diplomatic terrorism, blockades, electoral intervention to military invasions. Regardless of who’s in the White House - democrat or republican - when it comes to Latin America, the Empire’s policies remain the same.

In the twenty-first century, Venezuela has been one of the principle targets of these constant aggressions. Since the April 2002 coup, there has been a dangerous escalation in attacks and destabilization attempts against the Bolivarian Revolution. Although many fell beneath the seductive smile and poetic words of Barack Obama, it’s not necessary to look beyond the past year to see the intensification of Washington’s aggressions against Venezuela. The largest military expansion in history in the region - through the US occupation of Colombia - the reactivation of the Fourth Fleet of the US Navy, as well as an increased US military presence in the Caribbean, Panama and Central America throughout the past year, can be interpreted as preparation for a conflict scenario in the region.

The hostile declarations from various Washington representatives during the past few weeks, accusing Venezuela of failure to combat narcotics operations, violating human rights, “not contributing to democracy and regional stability”, and of being the “regional anti-US leader”, form part of a coordinated campaign that seeks to justify a direct aggression against Venezuela. Soon, Washington will publish its annual list of “state sponsors of terrorism”, and if Venezuela is placed on the list this year, the region could be on the brink of an unprecedented military conflict.

Evidence seems to indicate a move in that direction. A US Air Force document justifying the need to increase military presence in Colombia affirmed that Washington is preparing for “expeditionary warfare” in South America.

The 2009 Air Force document, sent to Congress last May (but later modified in November after it was used to demonstrate the true intentions behind the military agreement between the US and Colombia), explained, ““Development of this CSL (Cooperative Security Location) will further the strategic partnership forged between the US and Colombia and is in the interest of both nations…A presence will also increase our capability to conduct Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), improve global reach, support logistics requirements, improve partnerships, improve theater security cooperation and expand expeditionary warfare capability”.

The first official report outlining the defense and intelligence priorities of the Obama administration dedicated substantial attention to Venezuela. The Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community - which has mentioned Venezuela in years past, but not nearly with the same emphasis and extension - particularly signaled out President Chavez as a major “threat” to US interests. “Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has established himself as one of the US’s foremost international detractors, denouncing liberal democracy and market capitalism and opposing US policies and interests in the region”, said the intelligence document, placing Venezuela in the same category as Iran, North Korea and Al Qa’ida.

Days after the report was published, the State Department presented its 2011 budget to Congress. In addition to an increase in financing through USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) to fund opposition groups in Venezuela - more than $15 million USD - there was also a $48 million USD request for the Organization of American States (OAS) to “deploy special ‘democracy promoter’ teams to countries where democracy is under threat from the growing presence of alternative concepts such as the ‘participatory democracy’ promoted by Venezuela and Bolivia”.

One week later, the Inter-American Human Rights Commission of the OAS - funded by Washington - emitted a whopping 322-page report slamming Venezuela for human rights violations, repression of the press and undermining democracy. Despite the fact that it was a report - and a Commission - dedicated to the topic of human rights, the detailed study barely mentioned the immense achievements of the Chavez government in advancing human rights; advances which have been recognized and applauded over the past five years by the Unted Nations. The evidence used by the OAS to elaborate the report came from opposition testimonies and biased media outlets, a clear demonstration of dangerous subjectivity.

Simultaneous to these accusations, a Spanish court accused the Venezuelan government last week of supporting and collaborating with the FARC and ETA - organizations considered terrorist by both the US and Spain - provoking an international scandal. President Chavez reiterated that his government has absolutely no ties with any terrorist group in the world. “This is a government of peace”, declared Chavez, after explaining that the presence of ETA members in Venezuela is due to an agreement made over 20 years ago by the government of Carlos Andres Perez in order to aid Spain in a peace treaty with the Basque separatist group.

Last week, on tour in Latin America, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton couldn’t stop attacking Venezuela during her different declarations made before international media. She expressed her “great concern” for democracy and human rights in Venezuela, accusing President Chavez of not “contributing in a constructive manner” to regional progress. In a cynical tone, Clinton advised President Chavez to “look further south” for inspiration, instead of towards Cuba.

Clinton’s regional trip was part of a strategy announced by the Obama administration last year, to create a divide between the so-called “progressive left” and the “radical left” in Latin America. It’s no coincidence that her first tour of the region coincided with the announcement of a new Latin American and Caribbean Community of States, which excludes the presence of the US and Canada.

A military conflict is not initiated from one day to the next. It’s a process that involves first influencing public perception and opinion - demonizing the target leader or government in order to justify aggression. Subsequently, armed forces are strategically deployed in the region in order to guarantee an effective military action. Tactics, such as subversion and counterinsurgency, are utilized in order to debilitate and destabilize the target nation from within, increasing its vulnerability and weakening its defenses.

This plan has been active against Venezuela for several years. The consolidation of regional unity and Latin American integration threatens US possibilities of regaining domination and control in the hemisphere. And the advances of the Bolivarian Revolution have impeded its “self-destruction”, provoked by internal subversion funded and directed by US agencies. However, the Empire will not cease its attempts to achieve its final objective, and a potential military conflict in the region remains on the horizon.

Friday, March 5, 2010


Saludos Friends of Venezuela!

We are so happy to announce that finally, our Number 1 edition is out! We have had a good trial period for the past six weeks and now are official!! Please find this week's Correo del Orinoco International - English Edition, Number 1, Year 1, attached. We are also overjoyed to inform you that the Correo del Orinoco website is up and running. For now, our English-language paper is available on the Spanish-language site, but we will have a full-fledged English-language website in the near future, and we will let you know when that happens. Here is the link to the English section on the Correo del Orinoco website: http://www.correodelorinoco.gob.ve/english-edition/

Our Number 1 is full of interesting and in depth articles on the new Uruguayan president, Pepe Mujica, and the consolidation of unity in South America; the battle over the Malvinas Islands off Argentina's coast, currently under English colonization and control; the demonization of Venezuela through human rights reports that don't seek to judge the Chavez administration for its advances in human rights, but rather to distort and manipulate the facts; the absurdity of an opposition that blames everything on President Chavez, even the current drought the country is facing; Cindy Sheehan's productive and inspiring visit to Venezuela and her discovery of how the People's Power impulsed by the Bolivarian Revolution is transforming lives across the nation; a new radio station for the Global South, uniting voices from Latin America, Africa and Asia - a project of Hugo Chavez himself; and an intelligent analysis of poverty and the deception of wealth in the United States, by renowned scholar, Michael Parenti.

We continue to seek your submissions, commentaries and letters. Please feel free to write us at [email protected] .

We hope this paper will continue to be a successful reference for information, news and intelligent analysis of events and advances in Venezuela, from a Venezuelan perspective.

Revolutionary Regards,

Eva Golinger
Correo del Orinoco International
English Edition

El Ataque Perpetuo: La Guerra se acerca cada día más

Eva Golinger

“El imperio no cesará en buscar mecanismos y técnicas para lograr su objetivo final, y no podemos descartar la posibilidad en el futuro cercano de un conflicto bélico en ésta región… Si este año colocan a Venezuela en la famosa lista de “estados terroristas”, estaremos en la víspera de un conflicto militar”.

América Latina ha sufrida una constante agresión dirigida desde Washington durante más de dos cientos años. Todas las tácticas y estrategias de la guerra sucia han sido aplicadas en los distinos paises de la región, desde golpes de Estado, asesinatos, magnicidios, desapariciones, torturas, dictaduras brutales, atrocidades, persecución política, sabotajes económicos, guerra mediática, subversión, infiltración de paramilitares, terrorismo diplomático, intervención electoral, bloqueos y hasta invasiones militares. No ha importado quien gobierna en la Casa Blanca - demócratas o republicanos - las políticas imperiales se mantienen en marcha.

En el siglo XXI, Venezuela ha sido uno de los principales blancos de estas agresiones constantes. Desde el golpe de abril 2002 hasta hoy, ha habido una escalada peligrosa en ataques y atentados contra la Revolución Bolivariana. Aunque muchos cayeron bajo la seducción de la sonrisa y las palabras poéticas de Barack Obama, ni tenemos que mira más allá del último año para ver claramente la intensificación de la agresión contra Venezuela. La expansión militarista de EEUU a través de Colombia, la reactivación de la Cuarta Flota de la Armada, más su presencia en el Caribe, Panamá y Centroamérica, se debe interpretar como la preparación para un escenario de conflicto de guerra en la región.

Las declaraciones hostíles dadas durante las últimas semanas por los voceros de Washington, acusando a Venezuela de ser un país narcotraficante, violador de derechos humanos, que “no contribuye a la democracia y la estabilidad regional”, además de las acusaciones de la Dirección Nacional de Inteligencia de EEUU clasificando al Presidente Chavez como “líder anti-estadounidense en la región” forman parte de la campaña coordinada que intenta justificar una agresión directa contra Venezuela. Las próximas declaraciones serán sobre los vínculos con el terrorismo. Si este año colocan a Venezuela en la famosa lista de “estados terroristas”, estaremos en la víspera de un conflicto militar.

Todo indica que van hacia ese fin. Como bien decía el documento de la Fuerza Aérea de EEUU, de fecha mayo 2009, sobre la necesidad de aumentar su presencia militar en la base militar de Palanquero, Colombia, Washington está preparando y capacitándose para una guerra “expedita” en Suramérica.

Según el documento de la Fuerza Aérea, lo cual fue entregado al Congreso de EEUU en mayo 2009, (pero que luego fue modificado en noviembre 2009 para borrar el lenguaje que revelaba las verdaderas intenciones detrás del acuerdo militar entre Washington y Colombia), “El desarrollo de [la base en Palanquero] profundizará la relación estratégica entre EEUU y Colombia y está en el interés de las dos naciones…[La] presencia también incrementará nuestra capacidad para conducir operaciones de Inteligencia, Espionaje y Reconocimiento (ISR), mejorará el alcance global, apoyará los requisitos de logística, mejorará las relaciones con socios, mejorará la cooperación de teatros de seguridad y aumentará nuestras capacidades de realizar una guerra de forma expedita”.

El primer informe oficial sobre las prioridades en materia de seguridad y defensa presentado durante la nueva administración de Obama fue el de las “amenazas globales” según la Dirección Nacional de Inteligencia. Venezuela ha sido mencionado en dicho informe en años anteriores, pero no con tanta dedicación y énfasis como este año. Esta vez, Venezuela - y particularmente el Presidente Chávez - fue señalado como una de las principles amenazas contra los intereses estadounidenses en el mundo. “El Presidente de Venezuela Hugo Chávez se ha establecido como uno de los detractores principales a nivel internacional contra EEUU, denunciando al model democrático liberal y el capitalismo del mercado, y rechazando las políticas e intereses de EEUU en la región”, decía el informe, colocando a Venezuela en la misma categoría que Irán, Corea del Norte y Al Qaeda.

Días después, el Departamento de Estado presentó su presupuesto para el 2011 ante el Congreso. Además del incremento en financiamiento solicitado a través de la USAID y la NED para financiar grupos políticos de la oposición en Venezuela - más de 15 millones de dólares - hubo una solicitud de 48 millones de dólares para la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA) para “el despliegue de equipos especiales que ‘promueven la democracia’ en países donde la democracia esta bajo amenaza debido a la presencia creciente de conceptos alternativos como la ‘democracia participativa’ promovido por Venezuela y Bolivia”.

Y una semana luego, la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) de la OEA - financiada por Washington - publicó un informe de 322 páginas, acusando a Venezuela de ser violador de los derechos humanos y la libertad de expresión, y de socavar la democracia regional. A pesar de ser un informe - y una Comisión - dedicado al tema de derechos humanos, acaso mencionó los inmensos logros que el gobierno del Presidente Chávez había tenido en la materia. En su lugar, sólo analizaba aspectos relacionados con los derechos civiles y políticos - los únicos derechos reconocidos en EEUU, ignorando los derechos económicos, culturales y sociales que realmente componen la esencia de lo que son los derechos humanos. Las evidencias utilizadas para el informe de la CIDH fueron tomadas de testimonios y medios de la oposición en Venezuela, demostrando su cesgo pleno.

Pero a pesar de su postura distorcionada y su falta de evidencias contundentes, estos informes son empleados para justificar las acciones agresivas de Washington contra Venezuela ante la opinión pública internacional.

Como dijo el Presidente Chávez en reacción al bombardeo de informes y acusaciones contra su gobierno, “Hay una orquesta internacional contra Venezuela en estos momentos, una agresión permanente dirigida desde el imperio estadounidense”. Pero no es nuevo. Desde el 2005, estos informes y declaraciones han ido incrementado en su intensidad y caracter violento.

Hace cinco años fue la primera vez que Washington clasificó a Venezuela como un país que no colabora con la lucha contra el narcotráfico en su informe anual sobre el control de narcóticos en el mundo. Meses antes de la salida de ese informe en 2005, Venezuela había suspendido la cooperación con la agencia anti-drogas de EEUU, la DEA, porque había descubierto sus acciones de espionaje y sabotaje contra los esfuerzos del comando anti-droga de Venezuela. Desde entonces, Venezuela ha mejorado de manera significativa las incautaciones de drogas, las detenciones de capos narcotraficantes y la destrucción de laboratorios de drogas ubicados en la frontera con Colombia - el país mayor productor de drogas del mundo.

No obstante, el informe sobre la materia del Departamento de Estado de este año, publicado el primero de marzo, clasifica a Venezuela como “país narcotraficante” y país “cómplice” con el narcotráfico - acusación completamente sin fundamentos ni evidencias reales.

Simultáneamente, una corte española acusó al gobierno venezolano de apoyar y colaborar con las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) y la ETA - dos organizaciones consideradas terroristas por EEUU y España - creando una polémica internacional a través de los medios de comunicación, y provocando una tensión entre los gobiernos de España y Venezuela. El Presidente Chávez ha reiterado numerosas veces que su gobierno no tiene ningún vínculo ni con las FARC ni con la ETA, ni con ningún grupo terrorista. “Este es un gobierno de paz”, declaró Chávez, luego explicando que la presencia de algunos miembros de la ETA en Venezuela se debe a un acuerdo realizado hace casí 20 años por el gobierno de Carlos Andrés Pérez para ayudar con un tratado de paz entre el gobierno español y el grupo irregular.

Esta semana, de gira en América Latina, la Secretaria de Estado Hillary Clinton ha lanzado dardos contra Venezuela en sus distintas declaraciones ante los medios de comunicación. Expresó su “grave preocupación” por la democracia en Venezuela, acusando al gobierno del Presidente Chávez de no “contribuir de manera constructiva” al desarrollo regional. Cínicamente, Clinton aconsejó a Venezuela de “mirar más hacia al sur” en lugar de relacionarse tanto con Cuba.

La gira de Clinton se debe a una estrategia ya anunciada por la administración de Obama, de crear una división entre lo que consideran la izquierda “progresista” y la izquierda “radical” en América Latina. No es coincidencia que su viaje por la región - el más largo desde el comienzo del gobierno de Obama - se realiza justo después de la Cumbre de Unidad en Cancún, donde fue acordado la creación de una Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños, sin la presencia de Estados Unidos y Canadá.

La antigua Secretaria de Estado durante el gobierno de George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice, declaró en enero 2005 que “Hugo Chávez es una fuerza negativa en la región”, dando comienzo a una política de hostilidad y agresión hacia Venezuela. Clinton ha continuado con las mismas políticas de su antecesora, buscando aislar y desacreditar al gobierno venezolano y la figura de Hugo Chávez. Su intención es poner en marcha el plan de “cambio de régimen” en el país con las más grandes reservas de petróleo del mundo.

El tiempo de preparar un conflicto bélico no es de un día a otro. Es un proceso que involucra primero el acondicionamiento de la opinión pública internacional - demonizando al líder o gobierno adversario para justificar la agresión. Luego, capacitan y ubican las fuerzas militares en la región para asegurar la efectividad y potencial de una acción militar. Al mismo tiempo, tácticas como la subversión y la contrainsurgencia son empleadas para debilitar y desestabilizar al país blanco desde adentro, así colocándolo en una situación más vulnerable y menos preparado para defenderse.

Todo esto está en marcha contra Venezuela desde hace varios años. La consolidación de la unidad e integración regional amenaza cada día más la recuperación del control imperial sobre el hemisferio. Y los avances internos de la Revolución Bolivariana impiden la “auto-destrucción” que las fuerzas imperiales actuando dentro del territorio venezolano constantemente están provocando. No obstante, el imperio no cesará en buscar mecanismos y técnicas para lograr su objetivo final, y no podemos descartar la posibilidad en el futuro cercano de un conflicto bélico en esta región.